Kashan was my last stop in Iran, before heading back to the airport and leaving the country after amazing 10 days of discovering Persia. To be honest, I didn’t have big expectations, I thought by then I’d seen all the top places in Iran that could have impressed me a lot and there was no way something would still surprise me. Big mistake! Kashan enchanted me, a lot, and I enjoyed every single moment there, falling in love with the beautiful old houses and laid-back atmosphere. While many tourists don’t bother with visiting Kashan, for me it was one of my two favorite places in Iran!
One of my highlights in Iran
The road from Isfahan to Kashan was rather boring, leading through the desert. I was supposed to take yet another bus between the cities but friends of my awesome CouchSurfing hosts in Isfahan were heading to Tehran and kindly offered me a ride as Kashan was on their way. Even if they could barely speak English the language barrier wasn’t that much of a problem, we both tried really hard to communicate and it was just fine. Some two hours later we were in Kashan, after saying goodbyes I took a taxi to the hotel. Since I still had pretty much money left (and I had to spend them all, that’s how Iran works) my last night in Iran was pretty luxurious, but I’m not complaining!
Beautiful mosque in Kashan
The best thing about my hotel was the location. I was exactly in the middle of the town and between all major attractions of Kashan. It was only a few steps to Aqa Bozorg Mosque – a stunning, 18th-century building. Of all the mosques I’ve seen in Iran this one was the most empty one, during my visit there were maybe three other people around. It was amazing to have the place all to myself, I was able to carefully admire every single detail and focus on its beauty. It was just stunning! For sure it wasn’t the most breathtaking mosque in Iran but this very moment did the trick for me and made me like the place much more than I expected!
Boroujerdi House, Kashan, Isfahan Province
But the biggest attraction of Kashan is the traditional houses, a perfect example of fine Persian architecture. In the 18th and 19th centuries the town was a favorite holiday destination for the rich and famous, many of them have built their vacation houses in Kashan. These days it’s possible to visit some of them and even if at first, I was a little bit reluctant, now I can confirm they live up to the hype. I’ve been to two of them – I expected them to be similar but I couldn’t have been any more mistaken! Both Borujerdi House and Tabatabaei House looked like nothing special from the outside but stepping inside is like moving into another world, the fairy tale one. The house is focused around the courtyard with the little pond in the middle but what impressed me the most was the decoration, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! Mirrors, stained glass work, frescoes – it was all there! I spent pretty much time in each house, just enjoying the incredible beauty and vibe of the place. Being there was like moving back in time, it was easy to imagine how life in the golden times used to look like when those houses were full of people and a vibrant atmosphere.
For lunch, I headed to probably the most popular (at least among tourists) restaurant in Kashan – a traditional teahouse. It was pretty busy, the families were sitting on the carpets in special boxes and enjoying their time together. I was lucky to find a seat for myself, next to a lovely older Australian couple and their Iranian guide with whom I’ve chatted through the whole meal. To be honest, I wasn’t such a big fan of Persian cuisine (maybe except for breakfast, I loved those!) and so lunch in Kashan also was just fine. But I didn’t go to this restaurant for the food, more for the whole experience and I got exactly what I was hoping for. The place was truly magical, again, probably the best one I’ve eaten out at in Iran!
There was one more reason why I found the city so extraordinary – Kashan Bazaar. In every city I’ve visited in Iran, bazaars were on my agenda yet the one in Kashan was the most authentic one I’ve seen. And the most beautiful one too! All the ornaments and decorations were incredible, you just need to look carefully around to see them all. The bazaar also hides miracles such as teahouses, mosques, or bathhouses. It was also the only bazaar where I got lost for a while but it was a pure pleasure. Since it was my last day I did my Iran shopping there: Spices, nuts, the best tea I’ve ever had or freshly baked bread, still too hot to eat it! Everything was a bargain and shopping was such a cool experience! The Funny (or not!) thing is, I somehow deleted my pics from the last day in Iran so I don’t have a single one from the bazaar! Fortunately, my friend Monika visited Iran recently and was kind enough to let me use her pictures here so you can see what a beauty it is.
Kashan, a perfect place to end Iran trip
No matter how much I enjoyed the city, the majority of my time in Kashan was spent in the hotel and for the first time, I was more than fine with that. It was yet another typical Persian house, with a beautiful courtyard and a pond in the middle. Around there were standing numerous beds with massive pillows and I did very good use of them. I spent so much time there, just lying, reading a book (that’s where I found out about Chernivtsi, Ukraine for the first time, in the book by Anne Applebaum!) and napping. The water was hissing quietly, birds were chirping, the Sun was shining and it was just perfect. A well-deserved and needed to relax after 3.5 weeks in Georgia, Armenia (where dreams came true), and Iran. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to my epic trip!
If you think of visiting Iran or just want to read more about the country take a look at what else I wrote about it.
*Kami is a solo female traveler from Poland.